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Don't Ask Forever: My Love Affair With Elvis Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bova supplies a new perspective on Elvis. No Graceland groupie she, the author was a Capitol Hill staffer on the Armed Services Committee when she met Presley in 1969 in Las Vegas during her vacation. She was unprepared for "how beautiful he was." The fraught and erratic love affair that followed lasted till 1972. Bova, writing with freelancer Nowels, draws a portrait of this larger-than-life star, surrounded by sycophants, drifting into drug abuse and yet still sensitive to his fans. Also intriguing is the fact that Bova struggled to stand up to the "King," to keep her job and her independence. Looking back she sees the star in a softer light than many tale tellers, stressing that he was "devoutly religious and believed in family values." But she also details how Elvis pressured her to take narcotics until she in turn became addicted. It all makes seductive reading, although one questions Bova's 100% recall of conversations and passing thoughts after more than two decades. Even taken with the obligatory grain of salt, this is a piquant and smoothly written addition to the Elvis canon. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to National Star; Doubleday Book Club featured alternate; Literary Guild alternate.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Here's a novel idea: a book about someone who knew Elvis Presley. At least Bova knew him in the biblical sense, which adds a little spice to what otherwise is as slight and silly as a Presley movie. Act one: Joyce Bova, 24-year-old Priscilla Presley lookalike who works on Capitol Hill, goes to Las Vegas where a backstage meeting with the King sets hearts fluttering. Act two: well, the flap copy says it best: "In a whirlwind romance that swept her from the corridors of Congress to the secluded verandas of Graceland, Joyce jeopardized her career and defied her strict Catholic upbringing to be with her lover." Act three: Bova gets pregnant, but when she tries to tell Elvis the news, he gives her his take on motherhood: mamas don't have sex after the baby is born. (Readers of Priscilla Presley's book will recall that the King suffered from an industrial-strength dose of the whore/madonna complex.) Act three, continued: Bova has an abortion, but that doesn't save a relationship riddled with too many drugs. As with so many who knew Elvis, Bova apparently has total recall of every conversation she ever had with the man. There's not much to remember, really, but it beats Bova's own musings on life: "I sat there by myself in the dark and thought and dreamed and fought that lonely battle we fight against our own insecurity, against the icy inner terror that freezes your guts and makes you shrink back from the big scary world out there." It may freeze your own guts to buy this book, but if there are Presley fans in your neighborhood--and there are--you have no choice. Ilene Cooper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Pinnacle (July 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786001577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786001576
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,855,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading Elvisologist Allana Nash's recent book on the women who loved Elvis (BABY LET'S PLAY HOUSE), I became interested in Nash's account of Elvis's love affair with Joyce Bova, a Washington DC woman of whom I had never before heard. Nash provides quite a lengthy synopsis of the major events in this hush hush top secret romance, and I liked what I saw, so I bought I used copy of Bova's own memoir and dove right in. In a way, this turned out to be a mistake, since Nash had definitely given the highlights, but in eight pages instead of the 386 pages in the Bova book. But all I can say is, if this is how you like it, it's served up well in DON'T ASK FOREVER.

Nash had it right, Joyce was a pretty girl all right, but what cinched it for her with Elvis was the fact that she had a twin sister. We all know that the death of little Jesse was the central event in Elvis' life, and Joyce met him at a time ripe with spiritual renewal for Elvis, right at the time when he was beginning to fantasize of himself as a religious leader born to bring comfort and healing to billions. The twin thing, like a ribbon of celluloid film, somehow played in and out of the Jungian fantasies preoccupying him the early 1970s. He was one of twins, as was she: maybe they were meant to be together. In addition she was the twin, or nearly so, of his wife Priscilla, with whom he was still living an empty lie (or so says Bova). In fact when they went out together, fans always hurt Joyce's feelings by mistaking her for Priscilla and pestering her for autographs.

Twin-ness also haunts the book in terms of the Bobbie Gentry mystery.
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By A Customer on March 21, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Joyce Bova's account of her time with Elvis was a moving, but realistic, romantic tale of two different worlds. She is believable when she recounts her emotions, her fears, her hopes and dreams. The resemblance between Ms. Bova and Priscilla Presley is uncanny. And Joyce's intuition about Elvis is unbelievable. The heartbreak, the highs and the lows that she faces in her relationship with Elvis are ones that all women who have been in love can relate to. Joyce is a romantic, but a realist also. She is a strong lady, who does not resort to pity to interest an audience. She tells it like it is, warts and all.
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By A Customer on May 15, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in hearing the story from a woman who truly loved Elvis- I found myself completing this book in 3 days. It has been one of the best books that I have read regarding Elvis as a person. If I was able to say anything to Ms. Bova it would be "thank you" for allowing a fan like myself to get to know how Elvis was on a more personal level. I admire your strenght and think you were a very special and memorable piece in the complex life that was Elvis Presley.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Joyce Bova is a fascinating person. This is an excellent book. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. Anyone who reads this book and is a true Elvis fan will know this story is true. Some say she got her info from Priscilla's book but I have many videos and books on Elvis and Joyce Bova is referred to many times by many of his family and the Memphis Mafia, although they don't refer to her by name, the stories are the same. Example: Ricky Stanley (on a 2hr tv special) refers to a woman at Elvis' hotel in Washington D.C., the same story Joyce Bova writes of in her book. If your a true Elvis fan and know Elvis was human and not a God, he had his many faults as we all do, then you must buy this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Joyce and I have been very close friends for about 20 years, so I have known of her relationship with Elvis. Although I admit to not being an Elvis 'fan', I have always admired his talent and ,in many ways, the man she described him to be. I am an avid reader and though my choice of reading material would not be on Elvis, I had to read my friend's memoir.
I admire Joyce and admire her contribution in an intelligently written yet heart-warming book. The countless readers who feel they know Elvis will garner a greater insight into this complex man. I know Joyce and that is enough for me to respect and appreciate the candor and sincerity with which she wrote her book. I am not alone when I say that Joyce is a down-to-earth, forthright, sweetheart of a person who is still stunningly attractive and vivacious. (Joyce is also a very talented ballroom dancer who still performs and teaches out of her own dance studio.) More importantly, Joyce cares deeply about her friends. In particular, she cared very much about her depiction of the intimately personal relationship she shared with Elvis. I believe she has done so with an open heart and a sincere desire to fill in this gap of Elvis' life
After turning the last page of Joyce's book, anyone (man or woman)will go away feeling a real connection with her and an understanding of the extraordinary man she knew so well.
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By A Customer on October 24, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was completely blown away by the strength of emotions presented to me as a reader.
Joyce's courage and love for Elvis was so palpable, so intense, I was almost embarassed by the emotions I would find inside myself when reading this book.
I often would talk to my wife of Joyces' story and together we would sit and reflect on how intense this love was.
The dispair, fear, futility and finally (sadly), her resignation to the fact that, despite how powerful their love was for each other, despite how much Joyce was willing to sacrifice for that love (for sacrifice she surely did), the only way she could save herself from a terrible fate was to leave the very thing that made her feel complete.
If my words make no sense to you, I apologize. Every time I try to put the feelings that this book caused me to have into words, I inevitably cannot.
I would often talk to a dear friend of this story as well. More often than not, I would have to just stop and catch my breath because I could not put my feelings into the right words.
Joyce, you truly are a remarkable, wonderful and beautiful person. Your strength to finally end your life with Elvis was probably one of the toughest things to do.
But it made you a much stronger person.
Truly remarkable. Thank you.
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